Can someone explain the different titles for law firm jobs?

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Anonymous User
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Can someone explain the different titles for law firm jobs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:15 am

I'm a 2L looking for part time work and I'm a little confused what all these different general "office helper" law firm job titles refer to, like:

Law clerk

Legal assistant

Legal intern

Docket clerk

File clerk

Legal secretary

Are these all positions I should try applying to and what other keywords should I look out for? Also I've applied to about a dozen paralegal positions. Do law students usually work as paralegals?

Thanks

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transferror
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Re: Can someone explain the different titles for law firm jobs?

Postby transferror » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:13 am

Apply to any/all of them if it's just part-time work during the semester to pay bills. Law clerk, legal assistant, and legal intern are probably all the same duties (though "intern" usually implies unpaid), a file clerk could mean file scanning and storage or it could mean someone who handles filing motions with courts.

Just apply to all of them and ask about the job duties in the interview.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Can someone explain the different titles for law firm jobs?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:31 am

Law clerk and legal intern are the only ones you want. The others are staff jobs.

Anonymous User
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Re: Can someone explain the different titles for law firm jobs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:56 am

Law clerk is typically a JD who hasn't passed/been admitted to the bar yet (a first-year associate). In many states, including New York, you can't call yourself an associate until you're a member of the bar because it implies that you're an admitted attorney.

Legal interns are law students, presumably, though I guess there could be some college students depending on the firm. Not a rigorous definition.

Legal assistant/legal secretary is just a secretary who works in a law firm. The nature of the job isn't much different from being a secretary somewhere else. These are career positions that you can't do as a law student.

Docket clerk and file clerk are specific career positions for non-lawyers who basically do the really repetitive kinds of filing work that it isn't worth having lawyers do. Also usually not available to law students.

Paralegals require a specific certification in some states, so in those places you can't do it unless you're certified. Since most firms will not hire JDs as paralegals, I doubt most will hire law students as paralegals. It's a full-time job anyway. It can be a long-term career, but lot of people do this for one-two years between college and law school, too. Some people are paralegals while going to law school part time, but they had the position before going to law school.




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